No matter what genre we write in, most of us struggle at certain points with motivating ourselves through writer’s block and the revision process.
When we find ourselves languishing, often it’s time to start considering the basics again. Even an experienced writer sometimes loses focus. Reading a simple writing guide may help with refreshing our memories about why we went into writing and what we really like about it.
There are a few books I recommend that have a particular motivational purpose when you are down in the dumps. They can get you on the right track, writing again. Most of them were written long ago, and I consider them classics.
The 28 Biggest Writing Blunders (And How to Avoid Them), by William Noble, is for anyone who writes. It is simply written, and gets you thinking clearly about producing solid work with good stylistic elements that an editor will respect.
Noble’s book, Show, Don’t Tell: A Writer’s Guide is a good writer’s primer that reiterates the slogan that writing workshop leaders preach. Noble clearly shows writers how to write descriptively, using such devices as anecdotes to entertain readers.
John Jerome’s book, The Writing Trade: A Year in the Life, is great for magazine and book writers, among others. It’s filled with tips on writing effectively and gives helpful personal perspectives on keeping your nose to the grindstone.
Donald Morison Murray, a Professor Emeritus of English and journalist, authored Write to Learn. This is especially helpful for aspiring journalists, giving them a lot of courage. Another book he wrote, Writing for Your Readers: Notes on the Writer’s Craft from The Boston Globe, is not only for journalists, but other non-fiction writers, too.
An instructive book by Dona J. Hickey is Developing a Written Voice. It helps you get your thoughts on paper clearly and with style. After reading this book, you’ll feel as if you’ve taken a writing seminar.
Arthur Plotnik’s, The Elements of Authorship is an entertaining one on the rough road to being an author. By reading his book, you’ll feel like you have a writer- friend to commiserate with. You’ll learn not to lose your sense of humor through the long process to publication.
The above books offer us all a reality check. They are the type of books you’ll reread many times during your writing career.
Copyright 2012 by Charlotte Digregorio.